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Ramadan message condemns commerce in arms


The Vatican has used the Islamic month of Ramadan to urge all religious followers to “extinguish the fires of hatred, violence and war, and instead light the gentle candle of peace”.

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The increasing number of conflicts in the world and the protracted war in the Middle East has led the Vatican Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue to focus on the theme of working for peace in its annual Message for the Month of Ramadan and ‘Id al-Fitr.

The message strongly condemns the continuing production of, and commerce in, arms.

“Even as part of our human family suffers grievously from the devastating effects of the use of these arms in warfare, others cynically rejoice in the great economic profit deriving from this immoral commerce,” the message says.

It quotes Pope Francis who has described this as “dipping a morsel of bread in the blood of our brother”.

“At the same time, we can be thankful that we also possess immense human and religious resources for advancing peace,” the message continues.

“The desire for peace and security is profoundly rooted in the soul of every person of good will, since no one can fail to see the tragic effects of war in the loss of human lives, the toll of serious injury and the throngs of orphans and widows.

“The destruction of infrastructure and property makes life hopelessly difficult, if not impossible. Sometimes hundreds of thousands of people are displaced in their own country or forced to flee to other countries as refugees. Consequently, the condemnation and rejection of war should be unambiguous: every war is fratricide, useless, senseless, and dark. In war, everyone loses.”

Once again, it quotes Pope Francis: “No war is holy, only peace is holy”.

The message acknowledges that a “reawakened sense” of respect for the dignity of life would contribute to the conviction that “war must be rejected and peace cherished”.

“Albeit with their differences, religions acknowledge the existence and the important role of conscience,” it says.

“Forming consciences to respect the absolute value of the life of each person and his or her right to physical integrity, security and a dignified life will likewise contribute to the condemnation and rejection of war, any war and all wars.”

The message concludes by wishing Muslims “abundant fruits of peace, hope and joy” during Ramadan which ends on April 9.

The message can be read at


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